Q:Originally from San Diego, California, where did the idea come from about opening a shop in Vancouver, BC and whose part of your team?
A:We started making our own boards, like almost every shaper, in a garage. One board turned into ten turned into fifty and before we knew it we developed a niche business idea and ran with it. When Shaper Studios HQ caught wind of our progress, they asked us to marry them. We said yes. That was mid 2014.
Shaper Studios’ flagship store is in San Diego but have since opened new locations in the OC and Vancouver, BC. New spots are popping up all over the world with Brazil, Chile, and Montreal in the works for a 2016 opening. ‘We’ are not from San Diego. I am originally from Hawaii, Fraser Howatson (glasser) is from White Rock, Alex Rosin (shaper) is from Toronto, and Hanna Clark (social media & marketing) is from the East coast. We’re local craftsman who share a passion for surfing, shaping, and glassing.
Q: Tell us about the layout of your shop and how to you control your environmental impact?
A: Right now we have a double shaping bay and a 2-rack glass shop. It’s small but efficient. All boards are hand crafted, start to finish. We use a high bio-content epoxy resin ONLY which is far less toxic than traditional polyester and more sustainable to produce. We have about 40 in-house templates to mix and match outlines to get any style of board and we’re always adding new designs and sizes. We’ve taken all the obstacles of board building out of the equation making it easy for anyone to come and shape. Tools, space, materials, and know how are readily available at Shaper Studios. We offer private lessons by appointment and group workshops (up to 10 people) about once a month.
Q: Do you ever have world renowned shapers or even locally renowned shapers come by and teach? If so, can you name a few?
A: Sometimes we get some of the local shapers in shop to shoot the breeze but never have ‘pros’ or famous shapers teach our lessons. Andy Lambrecht, Stefan Aftanas, and Chris from Switchblade Surfboards are friends of ours and have always been supportive in what we do. As far as taking away from their business, it’s hard to say. I think because we’re the new kids on the block, people might see us as taking a piece of the pie. Hopefully our focus on community, collaboration, and surf culture has helped to grow our scene, not take away from it.
Q: Do you think what you guys are doing is taking business away from any other local shapers?
A: It’s hard to say. I think because we’re the new kids on the block, people might see us as taking a piece of the pie. Hopefully our focus on community, collaboration, and surf culture has helped to grow our scene, not take away from it.
Q: Do you think shaping boards will help somebody develop a better understanding about surfing?
A: Nothing will make you a better surfer except for practice. But shaping is an extension of surfing (or the otherway around) and it helps people understand how how different boards perform in different waves. Most often the ‘right board’ is not a HP shorty. They are fishes, single fins, midlengths, and logs. Everyone has a little shaper in them, we’re just here to help bring it out.
Follow the team on Instagram:
Shaper Studios HQ: @shaperstudios
Shaper Studios Van: @shaperstudios_van
Shaper Studios MTL: @shaperstudios_mtl
Shaper Studios OC: @shaperstudios_oc
Shaper Studios SD: @shaperstudios_sd